Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A "must-read." Excerpts included.

Great review of Ernst Junger's The Forest Passage. It's become the bible I live by. Excerpts and link below. The review, itself, is a "must-read."
We live in turbulent times that are sometimes hard to grasp. The vast amounts of stupidity and the further stupid reactions to this stupidity have created a terrifyingly negative situation we all have to face. Over-consumption, over-population, massive collectivism (including its most brutal and stupid form: monotheism) and an angst-ridden denial through petty consumerist compensations… What a mess!
"Man has immersed himself too deeply in the constructions, he has devalued himself and lost contact with the ground. This brings him close to catastrophe, to great danger, and to pain. They drive him into untried territory, lead him toward destruction. How strange that it is just there – ostracized, condemned, fleeing – that he encounters himself anew, in his undivided and indestructible substance. With this, he passes through the mirror images and recognizes himself in all his might.” 
At the core of the conflict lie not only its effects (pollution, depletion, poverty, pandemic potential) but also the philosophical dilemma for the thinking man and woman: how to deal with this world gone bananas? Each of us have to deal with the same question(s) but it seems that for most people the process becomes too painful and the perspectives too staggering. If we initially see ourselves as a contributing part of a whole (collective), it still won’t be long before the feeling of loneliness appears again. If survival on the individual level becomes too complicated, then of course people look for collective/tribal solutions. That’s just human nature. But what if the collective has gone bananas too and won’t realize it? A total Verfremdung then sets in, and the routes of life are now basically two: succumb/suffer or resist. 
Ernst Jünger’s figure/type of The Forest Rebel (Der Waldgänger) is not someone who physically roams through nature as some kind of escapist response to the madness of post-civilization. The Forest Rebel is rather someone who even within the restrictions of a human society finds freedom in the mere awareness of resistance. In this, the type is strongly related but not identical to another Jünger type, the Anarch. This should not to be confused with ”Anarchist”, who is always someone who needs the host body it claims to revolt against in a misdirected, epiphytic and masochistic love-relationship. The Anarch is as free as can be by claiming no allegiances and no ties on any level. Indifference is perhaps the wrong word here, but Jünger’s key term Désinvolture describes the attitude better. Being aloof, distanced, untainted by the madness and mass psychosis. Non-allegiance is central to this attitude. 
So, what’s the solution to the problem? Well, Jünger states very well what the problem is. But there are no set solutions, simply because this has to do with the Individual turning into a Forest Rebel or possibly an Anarch. 
Realizations about the state of the world, inner and outer, must come from the individual him/herself. The act of formulation itself is a move of powerful resistance. Then action must be taken, even if it only amounts to very subtle forms. There are no requirements, nothing to join, no set programs and no way back once the realization is there.
The unique sources of myth, creativity and imagination play important roles though, albeit individually expressed. ”Any power struggle is preceded by a verification of images and an iconoclasm. This is why we need poets – they initiate the overthrow, even that of titans. Imagination, and with it song, belong to the forest passage."  
A reconnection with the mythic world is essential to this existential adventure. It transcends narrow-minded and (weak) ego-driven pettiness, which, in collective forms, always manifests disaster. Every kind of collectivism is a denial and negation of individual potential. Striving for a glimpse of the eternal, mythic and divine (non-denominational!) in contrast to the dull dross of mechanized contemporary culture elevates the human mind to insights that can be utterly life-changing. When those insights arrive, you’re in the middle of the forest for sure. Free as a human being can be.
Link HERE.